IT FEELS LIKE JUST LAST THURSDAY
Following the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Fourth Round affair on June 13 , the Crew and the Fire meet for the second time this season in regular-season play when the Fire comes to Columbus ... the match -- just nine days after the U.S. Open Cup contest -- is the first of two trips for the Fire to Crew Stadium, as the Black & Gold host Chicago on June 22 (8:00 p.m. ET / FOX Sports Ohio) before welcoming The Fire again on Saturday, September 21.
WHERE WE LEFT OFF
The Columbus Crew suffered a 2-1 loss to the Chicago Fire at Toyota Park on June 13 in the Fourth Round of the 100th edition of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. Konrad Warzycha gave the Black & Gold the early lead in the 22nd-minute on a header off of a Ben Speas free kick. Chicago’s Mike Magee answered just six minutes later on a pass from Gonzalo Segares. The Fire would take the lead for good in the 78th-minute on Patrick Nyarko’s goal from Chris Rolfe in the fourth-ever meeting between the two clubs in the tournament named after the Crew’s founder, dating back to 1998.
SEEING BOTH SIDES OF THE RIVALRY...
Since 1998, 16 players have suited-up for both the Crew and the Fire in their careers ... the list includes: Brian McBride, Ante Razov, Jon Busch, Dominic Oduro, Dilly Duka, Matt Chulis, Leonard Griffin, Andy Herron, Richie Kotschau, Manny Lagos, Brian Plotkin (never played for Crew but was rostered), Tony Sanneh, Tim Ward, Andy Williams and John Wolyniec.
... ODURO’S HOUSEWARMING PARTY ON SATURDAY
On Saturday, Crew forward Dominic Oduro gets a chance to host the team that traded him to the Black & Gold in February ... Oduro scored 18 goals in 66 matches for the Fire in 2011 and 2012 ... while with the Fire, he recorded one goal in five appearances against the Crew ... the 27-year-old also made five appearances and recorded one assist against the Crew while a member of FC Dallas (2006-2008) and made two appear- ances against Columbus while with Houston from 2009-2010.
SPEAKING OF DOM AT HOME
Dominic Oduro’s next match at Crew Stadium will be his 15th contest in the house of the Black & Gold ... his statistical numbers indicate that he much prefers suiting-up in the Crew dressing room ... in his first seven matches at Crew Stadium from 2006- 20012 (all as a visiting player) Oduro recorded a single assist ... last Saturday against Montreal was Oduro’s seventh home match at Crew Stadium this year while in a Crew jersey -- a match in which he added a goal and an assist -- giving him three goals and one assist in seven home matches in 2013.
CREW AND YOUNG BARSON GET SOME LOVE FROM NATIONAL PUNDITS
Soccer By Ives named the Columbus Crew its “MLS Team of the Week” following its 2-0 victory over the Montreal Impact on Saturday ... Soccer By Ives also named Black & Gold defender Chad Barson its “MLS Rookie of the Week” ... with injuries plaguing the Crew backline, Barson, “stepped up to the task, playing 90 minutes and effectively shutting-out Justin Mapp and Marco Di Vaio.”
ONE-GOAL GAMES ARE BECOMING A THEME IN CREW-FIRE TILTS
The previous six meetings between the longtime rivals have resulted in one-goal matches, providing plenty of drama in regular-season play ... Chicago is 5-1-0 in the current span, with the Black & Gold securting a 2-1 win on May 26, 2012 at Crew Stadium ... the teams played to a 1-0 finish in Chicago when the two clubs last met on April 20 ... should the match remain close again this weekend, both teams will look to secure points in another crucial one-goal game situation as Chicago is 2-4-0 while Columbus is 2-3-0 in those tightly-contested situations.
NOT ALLOWING MUCH FROM THE FIRE
Chicago may have the Crew’s number in the last six overall meetings (5-1-0) but the Black & Gold have been solid at home against their rivals, securing points in four of the last five meetings at Crew Stadium (2-1-2) dating back to 2008 ... in those five meetings, Chicago has only scored two goals twice -- in the first two meetings of the five-match clip -- and the Fire has been held to one goal in each of the previous three meetings at Crew Stadium dating back to 2010.
IT FEELS LIKE JUST LAST THURSDAY